Discover more from Understandably by Bill Murphy Jr.
I think you should talk to a lawyer
"The insurance company made me an offer. But they need me to return it quickly." Also, 7 other things worth knowing today.
As a self-described “recovering lawyer,” I find myself offering the same advice over and over and over to people, in all kinds of situations, to the point that if I were on a sitcom, maybe it could be my catchphrase:
Person 1: “I have this complicated issue I’m facing, but I think I’m going to go it alone.”
Murphy: "Um, I think you should talk to a lawyer."
Studio Audience: (Laughter, sustained applause…)
So, in the interest of having a place I can send people to (because these newsletters generally live forever on the Internet), I thought I'd take today to address a few of these situations in which people ask for advice—either in person, or on social media and the like—and it always comes down to exactly: "Um, I think you should talk to a lawyer."
"I'm quitting my terrible job. Should I tell them why in my exit interview?"
Why would you do that? What would you get out of it? And if you think you're possibly quitting because you've been discriminated against, or because of other bad conduct ... I think you should talk to a lawyer."
“I got in a car accident, and the insurance company made me an offer. But they need me to return it quickly.”
Why are they in such a hurry? Why are you in a hurry? If they’re offering to settle that quickly, maybe they see vulnerabilities. ... I think you should talk to a lawyer.
"My daughter's roommate was caught with drugs, and since they share a living space both she and my daughter have to go before a college administrative board. But it's OK because the roommate says she'll take full responsibility."
Wow you're certainly putting a lot of faith in this other person to do the right thing when it counts. Also, are you certain that the roommate owning up to the conduct ends the whole issue as far as the board is concerned? ... I think you should talk to a lawyer.
“I ran into some trouble with the police. The good news is the public defender says they'll let me plead guilty to a misdemeanor.”
Really? What’s the charge? Will you be on probation? What happens if you violate? Do you have more leverage than you realize? How good is the prosecution’s case? Are you 100 percent certain the judge will accept the plea? ... I think you should talk to a lawyer..
“My job told me they're eliminating my position. Fortunately, they're offering me severance, as long as I sign by tomorrow.”
Did you not hear what I told the person with the insurance settlement offer? 😊
What’s their hurry? And if you come back in two days saying, I just wanted to get a lawyer to look at this first, are they really going to say “No, now that you have counsel involved we don’t want to close this matter?” ... I think you should talk to a lawyer.
I know we have a lot of other lawyers and ex-lawyers reading this; feel free to chime in with your own situations.
7 other things worth knowing today
Russia freed WNBA star Brittney Griner on Thursday, exchanging her for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. The swap achieved a top goal for President Joe Biden, but left behind an American jailed for nearly four years in Russia. My take: Putin knows exactly what he's doing, and hopes to inflame tensions by releasing Griner but not Paul Whalen or Marc Fogel. (AP)
The congressman-elect who will become the first member of Generation Z to join Congress next month said on Thursday that he was denied an apartment in Washington, D.C., because of his “really bad” credit. Maxwell Alejandro Frost of Florida tweeted that he lost the apartment and the application fee. He said his credit is so poor because he “ran up a lot of debt running for Congress for a year and a half.” (The Hill)
The median rent for a Manhattan apartment in November hit $4,033, up from $3,964 in October. The average rent, which is often skewed by luxury sales, is up 19% over last year, hitting $5,249 in November. While rents are easing in many parts of the country, New York’s rents remain stubbornly high and the number of unrented or empty apartments remains low. (CNBC)
A woman who was kidnapped as a child 51 years ago was identified through DNA and found still living in the same Texas city. Melissa Highsmith was 22 months old when she was abducted by a babysitter in 1971, her family said. After her father, Jeffrie Highsmith, recently submitted his DNA to 23andMe, the site found a match with Melissa's children—his grandchildren. (Star-Telegram)
The FTC is suing Microsoft to block its Activision Blizzard purchase. The FTC argues that the acquisition would “enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business.” (The Verge)
How to stop your Amazon Echo from trying to sell you things. (CNBC)
Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control granted a young girl’s request to house a unicorn in her backyard—as long as she maintains the mythical creature in a humane way. The agency sent a letterhead response to the girl, Madeline, listing all the conditions under which she could keep a unicorn. (LA Times, Instagram)